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The Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976
Model: JAMES TAYLOR
Release Date: 19 July 2019
Remastered. Sweet Baby James (1970) / Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon (1971) / One Man Dog (1972) / Walking Man (1974) / Gorilla (1975) / In The Pocket (1976). Also available on vinyl.
Between 1970 and 1976, James Taylor released six albums with Warner Bros. Records that became the foundation for his unparalleled career that includes five Grammy Awards, induction into the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, and more than 100 million records sold worldwide. Although his biggest hits were interpretations of other people's songs he has penned scores of his own numbers, many of which have been covered by the likes of Willie Nelson, John Denver, & Marianne Faithfull. An accomplished guitarist, he has provided instrumental and vocal accompaniment on numerous records by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, & Steve Winwood. His considerable success might never had happened had he succumbed to the drug problems which plagued him before his musical journey even got off the ground. This was round about the time his debut album came out on The Beatles’ Apple label in 1968. It received some good reviews and led to him signing with Warners.
The first album from the label, ‘Sweet Baby James’ contained the big US hit “Fire And Rain”. The follow-up ‘Mud Slide Slim...’ featured what is probably his best known performance, the Carole King song “You’ve Got A Friend” which got to No.1 in the US and a big hit around the world too. His other big hit was another cover version, Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” which could be found on his 1975 album ‘Gorilla’. Following ‘In The Pocket’ in 1976, Taylor left Warners for Columbia Records, who he stayed with for the next twenty years where he continued to be a major draw on the live circuit and retaining a broad fanbase happy to lap up his latest albums.
Each album in the set has been remastered, a process overseen by Peter Asher, who signed Taylor to the Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1968, worked as his manager for 25 years, and originally produced several of these albums.
Zombie Birdhouse (Orange vinyl)
Model: IGGY POP
Release Date: 28 June 2019
Iggy Pop’s ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ is his sixth solo album. His career up to that point had already proven that he was not only one of a kind but indestructible. Starting his career in the sixties, initially as a drummer he became frontman of The Stooges, today seen as one of the earliest punk bands. Record sales were low but legend piled up behind them, especially after uberfan David Bowie produced their third album ‘Raw Power’ in 1973. The tour which followed was literally dripping with blood and violence and the band broke up in 1974 by which time Iggy was mired in a heroin addiction. Thankfully, he recovered and started his solo career in 1977, helped again by Bowie in Berlin and the two albums he released that year, ‘The Idiot’ and ‘Lust For Life’ though totally different, are classics featuring tracks such as “China Girl” and “The Passenger”.
After three albums for Arista Records Iggy next teamed up with Chris Stein of Blondie who not only produced this record but also issued it on his own label Animal Records in 1982. Although ignored at the time, ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ is something of a lost classic. A heady concoction of drones, Afrobeats and freeform lyrics, the album represents him at his freewheeling best. This is the first official reissue since it’s original release.Lead single ‘The Villagers’ is vintage Iggy, featuring one of his finest ever monologues. The CD format of ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ contains a previously unreleased version of “Pain and Suffering”, featuring Blondie’s Debbie Harry on backing vocals. The song was originally recorded for the groundbreaking animated feature film ‘Rock & Rule’. Iggy provided the voice of the Monster From Another Dimension and Debbie Harry the voice for the character Angel. Despite this iconic combination, the OST was never released.
Iggy re-emerged in the mid 1980s as a pop star with his cover of “Real Wild Child”. Since then he gained living legend status and despite getting older, still didn’t give a shit, always out to shock and has kept himself in shape in order to give 100% at his shows. In later years he hasn’t been afraid to try different genres, work with younger acolytes (like Josh Homme of Queens of The Stone Age) and even reform his old band The Stooges.
Model: KIT SEBASTIAN
Release Date: 19 July 2019
‘Mantra Moderne’ by Kit Sebastian is a contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian psychedelia and Brazilian Tropicalia with 60’s European pop and American jazz. The duo is formed of Kit Martin, who lives between London and France and plays all instruments on the album, and Merve Erdem, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist from Istanbul, now based in London.
It was the 19th December 2018; the day after the Mr Bongo Christmas party. A grey, quiet and jaded office. Graham stumbled across an enticing email entitled “Anatolian-Lo-fi-Samba”: It said: “Hello, I’m a frequent buyer from your shop so just want to thank you and say what inspiration the music you have put out/sold has inspired me. I was wondering as a purveyor of great music if you could advise me on some labels/give me advice on where to go. I have an album, a music video, a live session to go in the style of Turkish Brazilian funk recorded all with analogue equipment. I would be most grateful if you gave it a listen and a watch and if there was anyone I could contact. Thanks, Kit”.
Cue Graham clicking on the link and being totally blown away and sending it everyone at Mr Bongo and immediately contacting Kit on all social media channels. No one actually gets signed from an ‘unsolicited’ demo, right? It might have taken 30 years to happen at Mr Bongo, but it did happen, and for a very good reason.
The album explores universal themes such as love, loss, decay, language and ideology, mixing three different languages: English, Turkish and French. It sounds like a vintage fusion of Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes, Cortex, Khruangbin, Air, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Stereolab: everybody hears something different in this record.
Written and recorded by the duo - Kit composed all the songs and Merve wrote the lyrics - in rural France during 2018, each song was completed within a 12-hour window, pawning contemplation for spontaneity. Dubbed by Kit and Merve as ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ in reference to the high-end tube equipment that helped it find itsway to 8-track cassette tape. The style owes its sound to narrow tape width, valve distortion, spring reverb, the mixture of high end gear with lo-fi equipment as well as a disregard to the norms of hi-fi studio techniques. All instruments were analogue and no samples were used. The instruments that are used range from tablas to darbukas, balalaikas to ouds, MS20 synths to Farfisa organs and a lot of cuica. The mixing techniques were done on the fly, tracking immediately to tape: compression, EQ, delay and reverb; meaning mixing could not be revisited.
Model: PURPLE MOUNTAINS
Release Date: 12 July 2019
2019 album also available on CD.
American singer-songwriter and poet David Berman is best known for his work with indie-rock band the Silver Jews, whose classic run was made somehow finite in 2009, when the voice himself, David Berman, announced his retirement from music. But back to the here and now, with his nom de plume of Purple Mountains, he is releasing his new self titled LP.
‘Purple Mountains’ is also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums - full of double-jointed wit and wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of handcrafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs are produced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance.
The songs of Purple Mountains are a potent brew, stitched together from lifetimes, knitting the drift of the years with the tightest lyric construction Berman’s ever attempted. Honesty is archly in the air but lines of incredible bleakness somehow give way to playful distraction and the hiding of surprises for close listeners. Even still, as the songwriter once wrote, “every single thought is like a punch in the face.” It won’t take long after slapping the record on the platter for you to hear that this is one of those albums. There are breakup records. There are apocalypse records. Then there’s ‘Purple Mountains’.
Berman’s songwriter’s bone’s never been laid more bare - if redemption doesn’t come on the lyric sheet, the act of putting these songs into singing, dancing form allows themtheir finest end - to provide infotainment for others, embodying moments of life and truth via music that elevates with disarming warmth and a reassuring commonality, even as David himself stands outside the communal campfires.
Until The Tide Creeps In
Model: PENELOPE ISLES
Release Date: 12 July 2019
2019 album also available on CD.
‘Until the Tide Creeps In’ is the sublime, guitar driven, indie pop debut release from Brighton, UK based foursome Penelope Isles. The band features songwriter siblings Jack and Lily Wolter who hail from the Isle of Man and completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford. The quartet have created an album that is quite simply “…a dreamy but biting piece of guitar pop…soaring, pastoral, highly intelligent songwriting.” As reviewed by Clash Music.
Formed around the chemistry between siblings and dual songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, ‘Until the Tide Creeps In’ is an album deepened by shared experience. Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were strengthened by separation when Jack moved away to study art at university at 19, when Lily was 13. As he puts it, wryly, “By the time I moved home Lily was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon became very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting. A couple of years later I moved down and we started Penelope Isles together.” For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. Jack added: "It's cool to have two songwriters in the band because I love her songs so much!"
Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, ‘Until the Tide Creeps’ In is an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music.”
Double LP on pink vinyl with digital download code.
“Sweltering guitars scorch the earth [on “Chlorine”]… While summery synths and keys frolic in spaces left between the drum line and spiraling vocals, the riff phrases communicate nearly as much warmth and meaning as the lyrics do.” Stereogum
“There is a grandeur to their songs, big and swelling, ebbs and flows…The whole band is seriously talented, and…seriously rock, too.” Brooklyn Vegan
“Choppy guitar and thumping percussion combine to create a markedly DIY aesthetic throughout the video’s three minutes and five seconds of scrapbooked collage visuals. Said DIY aesthetic, both sonically as well as visually, operates as a self-aware style, one that brings an element of dirty garage rock to the haze of dream-pop flushes.” Paste
Model: BILL BRUFORD
Release Date: 19 July 2019
15 titles on 20 audio and 4 DVD discs document the 20 year history from 1987 to 2006 of one of the UK’s brightest, most travelled and best loved young jazz ensembles. Featuring Bill Bruford with Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Patrick Clahar, Laurence Cottle, Tim Garland, Steve Hamilton, Tim Harries, Mark Hodgson, Mick Hutton, Gwilym Simcock. All audio, visual and print materials compiled and curated by Bill Bruford. Additional original artwork by award-winning illustrator, photographer and filmmaker Dave McKean. 8 bonus tracks.
Born in 1949, Bill Bruford is one the UK’s most celebrated drummers in the rock and jazz fields playing most notably with Yes & King Crimson and this new box set focuses on the band he started in 1986, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks which collects pretty much everything they did until he disbanded the group in 2008. The ensemble went through two distinct periods, the first of which featured Django Bates (keys, trumpet and horn) and Iain Ballamy (sax).
The first four discs cover the ‘Mark 1’ band. ‘Earthworks’, the group’s first offering in 1987, was named the “third best jazz album of the year” by America’s USA Today. Their third album ‘All Heaven Broke Loose’ was well received on its release. One review said: “Full of unpredictability, subtle mood changes, touches of eccentric funk and a surprisingly creative use of electronic rhythms...”. After a live album, ‘Stamping Ground’, the band broke up and Bruford returned to King Crimson (he played with them back in the 1970s) and also worked in the jazz and fusion fields.
He formed a new version of Earthworks in 1997 featuring Steve Hamilton (keyboards) and Patrick Clahar (saxophones), the band’s live work led to the release of the album ‘A Part and yet Apart’ in 1999. Electronic percussion made way for the warmer looser style of the more conventional sax-piano-bass-drums line up, and Bruford continued to bring the best of the young British players to the attention of a rapidly growing international audience. By the time Bruford ended the band in 2008 the line up was Gwilym Simcock (piano & keyboards), Tim Garland (saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute) & Laurence Cottle (bass guitar).
Bill retired from performing in 2009 to concentrate on writing his autobiography and a return to study and in 2016, Bruford earned a PhD in Music at the University of Surrey.
The Long Goodbye
Model: PERE UBU
Release Date: 12 July 2019
2019 album. Also available on 2CD.
Pere Ubu first emerged in 1975 and their early career placed them right in the middle of the Punk/New Wave scene of the time but Pere Ubu were hard to classify; Art-rock? Post-punk? Or just Pere Ubu? To define their music, Pere Ubu coined the term “avant-garage” to reflect interest in both experimental avant-garde music (especially Musique concrète) and raw, direct blues-influenced garage rock. Frontman David Thomas has stated the term is “a joke invented to have something to give journalists when they yelp for a neat sound bite or pigeonhole”. The group broke up in 1982 but reformed later in the decade and for the last 15 years or so the line-up has been fairly steady featuring Thomas (lead vocals, keyboards etc.), Michele Temple (bass), Robert Wheeler (synthesizer), Steve Mehlman (drums) & Keith Moliné (guitar).
Their new album, ‘The Long Goodbye, comes nearly two years after their previous record for Cherry Red, ‘20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo.’ Named after Raymond Chandler’s novel, ‘The Long Goodbye’ is the end of a road. Thomas has long talked of their journey to Satisfied City: “This wraps up every song and story that Pere Ubu has been telling in different ways for the past forty plus years.”This Pere Ubu album sounds like no other. It boasts a large expanse of synths due to Thomas writing and arranging the songs alone with his collection of drum machines, synthesizers and a melodeon before sending to the other musicians to complete this unique fusion of techno meets trad rock meets… the avant garage.
The CD edition boasts a live bonus disc, recorded in December 2018. Former member Chris Cutler rejoined David Thomas, Gagarin and Keith Moliné to play the entire album to a packed theatre in Montreuil, Paris. The show also included the seminal Pere Ubu classic ‘Heart Of Darkness’ and Neil Young’s ‘Running Dry’
Live In Japan
Model: DAVY JONES
Release Date: 02 August 2019
‘Live In Japan’ combines Jones’ early 1980s Japanese albums and singles with 22 bonus tracks, big colour booklets and a DVD. Also available on triple vinyl.
Davy Jones, the effervescent English singer/actor, pint size pop star, heart throb and ‘frontman’ of the American television rock ’n’ roll group The Monkees; the wildly famous and preternaturally buoyant pop group of the 1960s, also toured as a solo singer-songwriter. And now The Monkees specialists 7A Records are releasing ‘Live In Japan’ - long sought after by The Monkees fans worldwide - which has been lovingly remastered and presented in this stunning box set / triple vinyl.
The 2CD + DVD set features Davy’s two original Japanese live album releases, including 22 bonus tracks consisting of alternate mixes and original Japanese single releases. All recordings have been digitally remastered for optimum sound quality and have never sounded better. The set comes with a comprehensive 24 page colour booklet, including sleeve notes by Iain Lee and Mark Kleiner and recollections from Japanese fans that were actually there, as well as many previously unseen photos. The set also includes a DVD of one of the concerts, which has been transferred from a laser disc issued in the Far East, back in 1982. It isn’t BluRay quality but it still looks and sounds amazing.
The 3LP Vinyl Gatefold includes a unique 28 page brochure with an actual replica of an original Davy Jones Japanese tour programme, not available anywhere else. The three LPs are pressed on individually coloured vinyl and a whole LP has been dedicated to bonus tracks.
Born in Manchester, England, Davy Jones will always be best known for his role in the hit American TV show ‘The Monkees’ in which he appeared alongside Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Mike Nesmith. The Monkees were one of the original boy bands - before the term was penned - who drove young teenagers crazy with hysteria for their antics and their music. Often unfairly referred to as the “Pre-fab four”, The Monkees shifted some 35 million in record sales and five top albums (four of which went to No. 1 in the U.S.) and six top hits and yet have still never been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
The series which ran from 1966-1968 charted the adventures of an imaginary pop group, inspired by the wave of films featuring British bands such as The Beatles, and Herman’s Hermits. Jones’ boyish good looks meant that in some quarters he was seen as the frontman of the group, generally singing and shaking percussion, although he was an accomplished musician too and Tork said much later that he was a very good drummer but the producers felt that Jones should be up front. Nesmith once said “For me, David was the Monkees. They were his band. We were just his side men.”
Preceding the second wave of Monkeemania which kicked off in 1986, there was something of a resurgence of love for the group in Japan in the early 80s. Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones all toured there separately and were met by screaming fans desperate to see their heroes. Davy seemed to get the most attention in Japan and was the subject of two live LP releases and a clutch of singles which are all collected in this wonderful package.
Before his renowned fame in The Monkees, Jones was a young actor and as a teenager appeared in UK TV shows before hitting the West End, London stage in ‘Oliver!’ which is what led him to the USA when he then appeared in the same production on Broadway. His acting career continued once The Monkees disbanded appearing in numerous TV shows but music remained his first love, and he regularly toured right up until his untimely death at 66. This is the first authorised Davy Jones release since his passing and we hope that there will be more to come!
Help Us Stranger
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album also available on Vinyl.
Supergroup and grammy award winning rock band The Raconteurs - Jack White, Brendon Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler - return with their third studio LP and first new album in over a decade ‘Help Us Stranger’, after teasing us in December with new tracks. The 12-song collection will feature the two previously released songs - "Sunday Driver" and "Now That You're Gone" - along with a cover of Donovan’s "Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)."
The album sees the mighty combo reassembled, stronger and perhaps even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock 'n' roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With ‘Help Us Stranger’, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together.
The album which follows 2008’s ‘Consolers Of The Lonely’ was written by White and Benson, with the exception of their cover of Donovan’s “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness),” the group recorded the 12-song set at Third Man Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Produced by the Raconteurs and engineered by Joshua V. Smith, the album features contributions from keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age) and sisters Lillie Mae and Scarlett Rische.
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album. Dream pop. Also available on CD.
For the making of ‘Keepsake’, the Brisbane-bred musician otherwise known as Harriette Pilbeam recorded in a home studio in Melbourne and worked again with John Castle - the producer behind ‘Sugar & Spice’, a 2018 release that prompted Pitchfork to dub Hatchie the “dream-pop idol of tomorrow.” And while the album begins and ends with two massively catchy pop tracks - the brightly defiant ‘Not That Kind’ and the euphoric and epic ‘Keep’ - many songs drift into more emotionally tangled terrain, shedding light on experiences both ephemeral and life-changing.
Throughout ‘Keepsake’, Hatchie’s kaleidoscopic sonic palette draws out distinct moods and tones, continually revealing her depth and imagination as a musician and songwriter. On lead track ‘Without A Blush’, jagged guitar riffs and woozy rhythms meet in a sprawling piece of industrial pop, with Hatchie’s gorgeously airy voice channelling loss and longing, regret and self-doubt.
Another industrial-leaning track, ‘Unwanted Guest’, unfolds in wobbly synth lines and fantastically icy spoken-word vocals, along with lyrics about “being dragged to a party I don’t want to be at, then getting at a fight at the party, and kind of hating myself for it but hating everybody else too.” Meanwhile, on ‘Her Own Heart’, Hatchie presents a radiant jangle-pop gem that puts a singular twist on the post-breakup narrative. “I’d seen people in my life go through breakups and end up with no idea what to do with themselves,” she says. “I wrote that song from the point of view of a girl who winds up on her own and embraces having to figure out who she is, who doesn’t let her life get turned upside-down like that”.
On ‘Stay With Me’, Hatchie offers up ‘Keepsake’s most utterly rhapsodic track, all incandescent synth and unstoppable rhythm. “At first I thought I could never put that on my album - it felt too dancey and pop, and I figured it could really shine on someone else’s record,” she says. “But then I realised: I’m the one dictating what my sound is; what I put on my album is up to me.”
That self-possessed spirit infuses all of ‘Keepsake’, which ultimately serves as a document of a particularly kinetic moment in Hatchie’s life. “I’m not much of a nostalgic person when it comes to memories, but I do have a tendency to hold on to certain things, like tickets from the first time I went someplace on holiday,” says Hatchie in reflecting on the album’s title. “It made sense to me to call the record that, at a time when I’m going to probably end up with a lot of keepsakes - and in away, this whole album is almost like a keepsake in itself.”
Jambu E Os Miticos Sons Da Amazonia
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album. Regional music from North Brazil. Also available on Vinyl.
The history of “Jambú e Os Míticos Sons Da Amazônia” is the history of an entire city in its full glory. With bustling night clubs providing the best sound systems and erotic live shows, gossip about the whereabouts of legendary bands, singers turned into movie stars, supreme craftiness, and the creativity of a class of musicians that didn’t hesitate to take a gamble, Jambu is an exhilarating, cinematic ride into the beauty and heart of what makes Para‘s little corner of the Amazon tick.
The city of Belém, in the Northern state of Para in Brazil, has long been a hotbed of culture and musical innovation. Enveloped by the mystical wonder of the Amazonian forest and overlooking the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, Bel m consists of a diverse culture as vibrant and broad as the Amazon itself. Amerindians, Europeans, Africans - and the myriad combinations between these people - would mingle, and ingeniously pioneer musical genres such as Carimbó, Samba-De-Cacete, Siriá, Bois-Bumbás and bambiá.
It boasted a radio station, a recording studio, a music label and had a deep roster of popular artists across the carimbe, siri , bolero and Brega genres. Another important aspect in understanding how the musical tradition spread in Belem, are the aparelhagem sonora: the sound system culture of Para. Beginning as simple gramophones connected to loudspeakers tied to light posts or trees, these sound systems livened up neighbourhood parties and family gatherings. The equipment evolved from amateur models into sophisticated versions, perfected over time through the wisdom of handymen.Today’s aparelhagens draw immense crowds, packing clubs with thousands of revelers in Bel m’s peripheral neighbourhoods or inland towns in Para.
The music and tales found in Jambu are stories of resilience, triumph against all odds, and, most importantly, of a city in the borders of the Amazon who has always known how to throw a damn good part.
Rise (Coloured vinyl)
Model: HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES
Release Date: 21 June 2019
The word 'supergroup' gets thrown around a lot these days, but truly, it doesn't get much super-er than Hollywood Vampires, who comprise the ‘Hollywood’ trio of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp, who return to dazzle us with their explosive second album - as the current line up - ‘Rise’.
In 1969, on the Sunset Strip at the legendary club, the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the Hollywood Vampires were born in the upstairs bar. It was a gathering place for the rock stars living in or passing through L.A. "To join the club, one simply had to out drink all of the members," says Alice Cooper, a founding member of the original Vampires. Cooper and good friend Johnny Depp got together and decided the spirit of The Hollywood Vampires should live again —minus the drinking. Cooper and Depp were joined by Joe Perry (Aerosmith lead guitarist), who is an old friend of both, and the recording began: a tribute to the original Hollywood Vampires. An environment was born for great artists to hang, laugh and play together.
Seconds into the opening track “I Want My Now,” it’s clear this supergroup has created something special – the chemistry between the individuals is unmistakeable when they come together on stage or in the recording studio. Forget the star-studded lineup’s individual reputations, “Rise” is some of the purest, unapologetic and most enjoyable rock and roll of the year, made by masters of the craft and true fans of the form.
Unlike their 2015 debut record, the new album ‘Rise’ consists mainly of original material, written by the band. There are however, in the spirit of the Vampires’ original mission, three covers of songs originally written and recorded by some fellow rockers who died far too young: an intimate and intense version of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” beautifully performed by Johnny Depp; the late Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died,” and Johnny Thunder’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory,” sung by Joe Perry. Raucous rock anthems like “The Boogieman Surprise” and “Who’s Laughing Now,” capture the natural, raw, celebratory attitude of Hollywood Vampires displayed in their rowdy shows around the world. But the album shows off their range as well with tracks like “We Gotta Rise” – a tongue-in-cheek politics song in the the tradition of Alice’s “Elected” – to the psychedelic gothic epic of “Mr. Spider.”
“Rise is not only a totally different animal than the first Vampires album, it is unique to anything I’ve ever been a part of. I approached it very differently than I usually do when working on an album. Each of us; Joe, Johnny, Tommy and myself have written songs on this album,” Cooper says in a press release. “What is different though is that I didn’t try to change any songs to be more ‘Alice-like.’ Because each of us has different influences, the sound of this album is very cool. I think that with this album, we are establishing what the Vampires’ sound really is, whereas with the first album we were more tipping our hats to our fallen rock n roll brothers.”
“Rise came from pure creative energy, which is just like playing live with the Vampires,” cites Perry. “The record showcases everyone doing what they do best without anyone looking over our shoulders. There was no pressure or deadlines, allowing us to write and record an album that is one of the freest and most honest sounding records I’ve been part of. I can’t wait to perform some of these tunes live for our fans.”
Model: EMELI SANDÉ
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album. Also available on CD.
Recorded following an intense personal journey of self-doubt and self-discovery, ‘Real Life’ marks a brand-new chapter for the British singer-songwriter with it a bold, confident and fearless new sound. It’s an extraordinary album and emblematic of an artist emerging defiant and powerful. Sandé says that her vision for Real Life is to give people hope and confidence: “Especially people who have been marginalised, forgotten or kicked down by this invisible oppression that’s always there. I just want to give people this incredible superpower every time they play the album. Like a battery pack – by the end of the album they’re going to feel restored.”
All lyrics on the new album were written by Sandé, who had worked on Real Life with such notables as Salaam Remi, James Poyser and Troy Miller, who produced every song. The album’s 11 tracks exude positivity, from the very opening track “Human”, which is followed by the acoustic guitar-led “Love To Help”. The soaring “You Are Not Alone” has the singer, flanked by a choir, marking a return to the anthemic sound that made Sandé a star. Lead single “Sparrow” is an empowering track showcasing the singer’s dynamic voice, as does the sermonic, R&B and gospel-flavoured “Survivor”. The piano ballad “Honest” is being described as one of the most emotive songs of the singer’s career, and is followed by the cinematic, string-led album closer “Free”.
“I feel grounded,” says Sandé. “With this album, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and do. I’ve came out the other side more confident, happier with more self-love.”
Shout Sister Shout
Model: SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
Release Date: 21 June 2019
Including previously unreleased group & solo recordings from 1957 to 1971.
‘Shout Sister Shout’ is a brand new collection Including previously unreleased group & solo recordings from 1957 to 1971, from the one and only and legendary Sister Rosetta Sharpe. Long before "women in rock" became a media catchphrase, African American guitar virtuoso Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women could rock. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915, Tharpe was gospel's first superstar and the preeminent crossover figure of its golden age (1945–1965).
Sister Rosetta Sharpe was a trailblazer performer who influenced scores of popular musicians, from Elvis Presley and Little Richard to Eric Clapton and Etta James. Tharpe was raised in the Pentecostal Church, steeped in the gospel tradition, but she produced music that crossed boundaries, defied classification, and disregarded the social and cultural norms of the age; incorporating elements of gospel, blues, jazz, popular ballads, folk, country, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. Tharpe went electric early on, captivating both white and black audiences in the North and South, in the U.S. and internationally, with her charisma and skill. People who saw her perform claimed she made that guitar talk. Ambitious, flamboyant, and relentlessly public, Tharpe even staged her own wedding as a gospel concert-in a stadium holding 20,000 people!
This is a must have piece in your collection from this vibrant, yet nearly forgotten musical heavyweight whose long career helped define gospel, r&b, and rock music. A performer who resisted categorisation at many levels-as a gospel musician, a woman, and an African American-Tharpe demands that we rethink our most basic notions of music history and American culture. Her story forever alters our understanding of both women in rock and U.S. popular music.
CD 1: WITH BAND / Shout Sister Shout / That’s All / Didn’t It Rain / Down ByThe Riverside / Every Time I Feel The Spirit / Go Ahead / Jesus Is Everywhere/ How It Rains / Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho / Up Above My Head, I HearMusic / Precious Moment / This Train / Jesus Met The Woman At The Well/ Take My Hand Precious Lord / Sit Down / Peace In The Valley / When TheSaints Come Marching In
CD 2: He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands / Down By The Riverside / IsEveryone Happy? / Cant’ Sit Down / Didn’t It Rain / Go Tell It To The Mountain/ Jesus Met The Woman At The Well / Sometimes I Fell Like A Motherless Child/ Vacation In The Sky / Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread / Travelin’ Shoes/ Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen / Can’t No Grave Hold My Body Down/ Mansions In The Sky / When Jesus Was Born
Model: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album. Also available on CD.
The trio from Northern Ireland are back with their fourth album ‘False Alarm’ and it finds Two Door Cinema Club gloriously unshackled and creatively at the peak of their game. Across its ten tracks, ‘False Alarm’ wryly scans and satirizes the social and environmental woes of 2019 through the prism of wonderfully off-kilter pop, simultaneously borrowing from and warping elements of future pop, disco, rock, funk and soul. Produced again with Jacknife Lee, the record retains their 80s influenced sound.
“I love the pop thing,” frontman Alex Trimble explains. “I love experimenting and going to different places, I love doing things that are a little bit wonky and I love the idea of doing something we haven’t done before, why can’t we do all of those things at once? That’s what it was, doing whatever felt right… It sounds like Two Door Cinema Club - not a Two Door Cinema Club there’d ever been before but that’s what I love. We can always do something new but it always feels like something we’ve done.”
Close To Home
Model: CHUCK MEAD
Release Date: 21 June 2019
2019 album. Honky tonk. Also available on Vinyl.
From Chuck Mead’s important work with the throwback country outfit BR549, to his long and productive solo career, to numerous causes and enterprises behind-the-scenes few catch wind of, Chuck Mead has on the front lines of helping to save country music for a quarter century. And now the Neo-traditional honky tonker troubadour serves up a Memphis-spiced hardcore country platter with ‘Close To Home’ and this one promises to have a distinct Memphis feel to it.
“I really delved into the Memphis music scene when I was living there for four months,” Chuck Mead says. “I got to know a lot of people in the scene, and I’d known producer Matt Ross-Spang for quite a while. At night the cast would record at the original Memphis Recording Service (better known as Sun Studios) and that’s where I first met Matt. He was very young but was the head engineer and really brought the old studio back into shape. I started hanging out with him, and he kept talking to me about cutting a record in Memphis.”
There was a reason Mead was spending so much time in Memphis, and why it was looming so large in his mind. At the time, he was working as as the Musical Director, Supervisor, and Producer of the hit Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet”, and later he worked on the well-received CMT drama series, “Sun Records”. These projects brought the stories of the birth of country and rock and roll out of Memphis to a new generation through the characters of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, and Chuck Mead was one of the people behind-the-scenes helping to make it all happen.
“I’ve recorded in some cool Nashville studios like the Quonset Hut, RCA Studio B, and The Castle,” Mead says. In fact his 2012 record was called, Back At The Quonset Hut. “But there was something almost supernatural about working at Phillips. You could feel Sam’s spirit. Matt wanted me to make a bigger record, something that was out of my box and I was all for it. So I turned it over to him and he took things in a direction I didn’t foresee. It’s probably the least-country record I’ve ever made, but at the same time, it’s really a country record.”
“I really wanted to make a record that was a little bit different from what I had been doing,” Mead says. “Looking back, I really have done that on every record I’ve made, because why make the same record every time?”
Memphis is a hot spot of old school music right now. Dale Watson recently made a partial move there from Austin, and took his annual Ameripolitan Awards with him. And with the rising rents of Nashville and Austin, many musicians are heading to the city in hopes of greener pastures. Chuck Mead’s Close To Home will be another entry into roots music’s move to Memphis.
The 11-track collection recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Studios in Memphis, TN was produced by acclaimed Memphis recording engineer and producer Matt Ross-Sprang (Jason Isbell, John Prine, Margo Price).
Over the course of the late ‘90’s and the early 21st century, Chuck has recorded seven albums with BR5-49 and spread the gospel of neo-traditional country music around the world, garnering the band a CMA award for Best International Touring Act and three Grammy nominations.